Wow, it’s been a month since my last post. And I haven’t run at all the past 2 weeks and won’t run this week. Oh well, life happens sometimes.
A week ago I was washing clothes and unpacking and recovering from the wonderful annual beach retreat with the ladies of my church. We had such a wonderful time, with good fellowship and a good Bible study and a chance to talk and relax. I always love this trip, even if I don’t get much sleep there.
Then, as I was working through my mail and catching up after 2 days off of work, my sister-in-law sent me a message to ask if I could talk. Alison is David’s wife, Anthony’s brother. So, we’re like double-in-laws, but we get along really well. We have a lot in common since we married very similar men. I figured she wanted to arrange a time for our families to visit or something, so I replied that I could talk just about any time that day. When she wrote back immediately asking if right now worked I started to get worried.
We got on the phone and she told me that David had walked out a week earlier and said he wanted a divorce. I was floored. David isn’t perfect, but he has always been steady and solid. A few years ago his family got out of the habit of going to church, and we kept pushing him to find one close to home, but otherwise things seemed to be going well. He had been working his full-time job in software testing plus building an internet business. But he seemed to find time for his family and kept it all pretty much in balance, with the usual corrections we all have to make along the way. Then about 6 months ago he quit his day job and went full-time with the internet business. We were very encouraged, since we know David would have been careful about that decision and if the business was working that well we were thrilled for him. We did tell him they should all move closer to us now that he wasn’t tied to an office.
But now it seems things weren’t as good as they looked. We don’t really know what was/is wrong because he hasn’t talked much. He told Alison he wanted to focus on the business and he’d provide for her and their 3 sons but he didn’t want to live in the house any more. When we drove to Raleigh and had a chance to confront him, he told us that he had spent 10 years trying to live with Alison and he just wanted to be happy, and that the tension between them in the house was making life miserable for the kids. The 15 year old said he hadn’t noticed the tension, so I’m not sure who David thought was being bothered.
Anyway, we’ve all been on a roller-coaster of emotions. A large part of us wants David to wake up from whatever weird state he’s in and run back to his family. A smaller part of us would like to hit him at least once. We hate this decision and all the damage it is doing and will do to everyone in this family for years to come. All of us come from broken homes, so we all have seen the damage done by divorce. It has taken me years to gather examples of families that struggled through and made it work, but there are enough that I know it can be done. Usually requiring a lot of help from the Holy Spirit.
When we talked with David, what he was saying sounded so self-centered and self-serving, like he’s telling himself stories to make it all appear better. We tried to talk back to him with the biblical language that says this is a sin and it would be so much better if he would continue the ongoing work of making the marriage succeed. But I don’t think he speaks that language any more, and that saddens me most of all. He seems to have turned his back on God so whatever trouble he is in and whatever he is struggling with, he’s doing it all alone.